China's media facing change
( 2003-08-18 09:40) (China Daily)
Many Chinese people have been noticing the media are changing their traditional ways of broadcasting news, as ambitious reform plans formulated by the government are put into action.
In newspapers, ordinary people can read more stories closely related to their lives rather than the activities of leaders, and on television they watched live news about the war in Iraq. Behind all this is a fundamental reform involving over 2,000 newspapers, 9,000-plus magazines and other Chinese media.
One sudden change came when all the Chinese print media, except science journals, were asked to suspend looking for new subscribers next year.
According to new rules released by the State Administration of Press and Publication on July 30, departments of the central government and the Communist Party of China Central Committee should no longer subsidize any newspapers or magazines which required a paid subscription.
The central government has decided to weed out some media that can yield no social or economic profit, said Deputy Director Liu Binjie of the State Administration of Press and Publication.
Experts say this reform is to make the Chinese press open to competition. Li Ping, an editor with the China Water Resources News, said the change will bring them both challenges and opportunities. The newspaper will lose some traditional subscribers and face limitations from administrative departments, she said.
Such reform will spur media workers to do their best, said Zhang Xinsong with the Economic Information Daily.
Some people meanwhile expressed some concerns. An editor with a local industry newspaper said that without subsidies and support from the local government, the newspaper might go out of business.
The press reform is not a complete surprise. Some press have been preparing for such changes for a long time. Economic newspapers are among the first to assume sole responsibility for their profits and losses. In Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, television stations are planning to launch paid channels.
Press reform will help the media to better supervise the government and safeguard social justice, which is also the reform aim of the Chinese government, said Yu Guoming, a professor on media with the People's University of China.
Chinese media have played positive roles in pushing reforms in China, but
this time the media themselves are facing changes and challenges, whether the
staff are ready or not, experts said.
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